Match 16
2 November 1983
Burnley (h)


A DOGGED, tedacious Exeter City performance earned them a point last night against a star-studded Burnley side, but it was still not good enough for City to break their duck at St. James' Park and notch their first home win of the season. After eight games City have yet to find the winning touch in front of their own crowd. It was a patchy game on fluctuating fortunes. At times Burnley looked very much a side packed with international experience, but at others they completely lost the pattern of their play. Exeter did not get in that many shots on target, but strangely enough their best approach work did not reap the rewards it deserved and tended to peter out for lack of a final touch. Burnley took a 16th-minute lead and looked full value for it at the time. But then Exeter's penalty kicker, Stan McEwan, equalised from the spot in the 36th-minute his fourth penalty of the season and Burnley lost much of their poise. The second half was a mixture of flashes of attractive soccer peppered with spells of scrappy stuff. Although it was not an over-impressive performance by City, they certainly fought hard and their outstanding player, Peter Rogers, who made some superb darting runs, deserved a better reward. Burnley, boasting a galaxy of international experience were five current their or former international players in their side got off to a lively start. Eire international striker Billy Hamilton was a constant thorn in the side of City's defence, and twice in the first ten minutes he got in headers that were not far wide of the mark. All that good work brought a 16th-minute goal. A cross from Willie Donachie, neatly flicked on by Kevin Reeves, led to the goal. In dashed Welsh skipper Brian Flynn to pick his spot well and drive the ball into the net. It was more than 20 minutes before Exeter got in a shot at goal and that was a free kick from McEwan that went well over the bar. In the 36th-minute though Exeter bounced back on terms. Joe Auguste was brought down in the area by Vince Overson and referee Eric Reed pointed to the spot. Up stepped McEwan to make no mistake with the penalty. After that Exeter started to get a grip on the game and Burnley began to lose their composure. In the second half Len Bond was in early action and pulled off good saves to powerful shots from Hamilton and Reeves. But neither side could stamp real authority on the second period, although there was a moment midway through when Exeter threatened to get the goal they so desperately wanted. A long through ball from Auguste was picked up by Neville, but he drove his shot just outside the upright. Late in the game full-back Derek Scott did well to clear a dangerous Neville cross from off the line, but Burnley nearly snatched a dramatic winner when Hamilton got up superbly, only to see his header cleared from off the line by Nick Marker.

Attendance: 3,714.

Star players
EXETER, Rogers.
BURNLEY, Hamilton.





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